WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Winona teenager who brought a loaded handgun to Winona Senior High School on Monday has been charged.
The Winona County Attorney's Office says by law it can't release what the charges are because the boy is under 16 but did say he is being held in a secure facility.
According to the Winona Area Public Schools superintendent, the boy will not be allowed to return to the school.
The 15-year-old was arrested Monday morning after admitting to police and school administrators that he brought a 22-calibur handgun on campus.
In a time when school shootings are an unfortunate reality, safety on campus is a top priority at Winona Senior High School.
When the student brought a loaded gun on campus, the school took immediate action.
"We just go 0-60 and act on it," said Dr. Scott Hannon, superintendent of Winona Area Public Schools. "Anytime a weapon's involved that just goes right to the top of the chart. You just drop everything and you deal with it."
According to Dr. Hannon, a student told a faculty member they had seen the juvenile with the gun in his pocket. The teen was taken out of school immediately and in the days that followed, authorities investigated the situation. Dr. Hannon said more students came forward claiming the teenager had brought a gun to school on more than one occasion.
"Once we knew about it, everything that should take place, did take place," said Dr. Hannon.
Though the student was seen with a gun on separate occasions, no one ever turned him in to school officials. Dr. Hannon said the school has security measures in place which include security cameras, safety specialists and trained faculty and staff. But like other schools across the country, Winona Senior High can only do so much in the face of danger.
"We need to make sure that parents, staff and especially students feel that it's okay to say something if they feel that they're being threatened-Whether it's a knife or in this case a handgun-they need to say something and we really appreciate that information because it could head off a catastrophe," said Dr. Hannon.
More than 3,000 students attend 8 Winona Area Public Schools. According to the superintendent, there are security measures and procedures at all of those locations.
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